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Oct. 23 airpower summary: F-16s escort convoy in Afghanistan

10/24/2009 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNS) -- Coalition airpower integrated with ground forces in Iraq and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan during operations Oct. 23, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcon aircraft flew armed overwatch in the Asmar area providing friendly forces' convoy escort. A friendly forces patrol reported activity of anti-Afghan forces at an enemy position with an anti-aircraft gun in place and requested airpower assistance to deter hostile action. Aircrews immediately responded and confirmed coordinates of the enemy position releasing numerous precision-guided munitions and destroying the target. The aircraft continued to search for enemy personnel in the vicinity and to provide ongoing surveillance for the convoy.

Coalition aircraft were in the vicinity of Surkhabad providing armed overwatch for friendly forces that reported receiving enemy heavy-machine gun fire. A request for airpower assistance was made and a show of force conducted. The show of force stopped the enemy fire.

In the vicinity of Gereshk, Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft were providing reconnaissance for enemy activity and armed overwatch for friendly forces. When enemy movement was observed and the friendly forces came under enemy small-arms fire, a show of force was conducted to deter the enemy action. The show of force did not completely stop the enemy so a strafing run of cannon fire was made that terminated the enemy fire.

In total, 77 close-air-support missions were flown in support of the ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Thirty-two Air Force, Navy and coalition intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions as part of operations in Afghanistan.

In Iraq, 25 Air Force and Navy ISR aircraft flew missions as part of operations there. In addition, two Air Force aircraft performed tactical reconnaissance.

In total, 20 close-air-support missions were flown in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. These missions integrated and synchronized with ground forces, protected key infrastructure, provided overwatch for reconstruction activities, and helped to deter and disrupt hostile activities.

Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft and C-17 Globemaster IIIs provided intra-theater heavy airlift, helping to sustain operations throughout Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa.

Air Force airlift crews flew 150 airlift sorties; 713 short tons of cargo were delivered; and about 3,100 passengers were transported. This included about 95,000 pounds of aerial resupply cargo dropped over Afghanistan.

Coalition C-130 crews flew as part of operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

On Oct. 22, Air Force HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters and "Guardian Angel" teams transported nine patients to coalition field hospitals from locations in Afghanistan. Pararescue team members aboard located, rescued and began treatment to stabilize patients in the battlefield. The Pave Hawks transported these patients to field hospitals in less time than it takes for a civilian patient to reach emergency care by ambulance in most major cities.

Air Force aerial refueling tankers flew 41 sorties and off-loaded approximately 2.5 million pounds of fuel to 172 receiving aircraft.

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